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Garmin 24xhd or 24 fantom

Old 01-29-2018, 11:35 AM
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Default Garmin 24xhd or 24 fantom

well I've narrowed the radar purchase to the garmin 24"XHD or the 24" fantom.
I understand that I probably won't be able to locate birds with either one so what's the better choice. Thanks for the feedback.
Old 01-30-2018, 10:25 AM
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Please help,thanks
Old 01-30-2018, 10:29 AM
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I havent used a Fantom but I have used the xHD. Given that you are using for navigation, I recommend the Fantom for the navigational features. True trails (vs relative trails) and motion scope would really be helpful, especially in higher traffic areas. It will really help you determine the speed and direction of other vessels around you as well as deciphering slow moving objects from stationary ones. .

I know I get annoyed with the relative trails on the xHD after using my Furuno with true trails. .
Old 01-30-2018, 10:49 AM
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thank you
Old 01-30-2018, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tdk72 View Post
well I've narrowed the radar purchase to the garmin 24"XHD or the 24" fantom.
I understand that I probably won't be able to locate birds with either one so what's the better choice. Thanks for the feedback.
TDK72: I have read several posts in this great forum that speaks to the ability of the Garmin 18XHD and 24XHD as having the capability of locating birds at a "shorter" distance than those open arrays. However, I have read that it can be done. Here is one such post:

Garmin 7612 with 18XHD radar - Gain Setting for Birds

I have the Garmin 18XHD on my boat and I am looking forward to learning and seeing how it works. I am taking one step at a time as this is my first offshore boat and have much to learn. Good luck!
Old 01-30-2018, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tdk72 View Post
well I've narrowed the radar purchase to the garmin 24"XHD or the 24" fantom.
I understand that I probably won't be able to locate birds with either one so what's the better choice. Thanks for the feedback.
This should be helpful to you.


Tuning Radar For Finding Birds
Old 01-30-2018, 07:54 PM
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I appreciate the info but I still have to decide. So what I'm getting from the last post is that a 24xhd will see birds. What about the fantom?
Old 01-30-2018, 08:09 PM
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24xHD is not a bird finding radar. You will see birds on it. However you will have likely already found them. It is only.a 4kw 24” dome.
Old 01-31-2018, 12:10 AM
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Birds are pretty lousy radar targets, especially smaller ones such as terns or shearwaters. If you are down south looking for big frigate birds, of course they are better targets. That difference is one reason why some people say they spot birds with a small dome and others say only a large high power open array is useful for seeing birds beyond 1-2 mile visual range.

A 12kW or 25kW 4 or 6 foot open array has the ability to discern echoes off smaller targets and the high transmit power means that it is more likely that a return from a bird will be reflected back and get picked up and displayed on the radar. So it is always true that a small, low power dome will not be able to display birds at the same maximum range as an open array under the same sea conditions.

If you are putting a 24" dome on your boat, you have to expect that it will have very limited ability to pick up birds beyond the range at which you could see them with your eyes or stabilized binoculars. That to me makes it more important to choose the unit based on how well it helps you in navigation under restricted visibility and at night.

My neighbor has a 24" Fantom dome on his boat that I have used several times. It is a very good radar for navigation, better in my opinion than the xHD2 dome for two reasons. One is that the auto tuning function on the Fantom is much better and you don't have to fiddle with manual adjustments to get a decent picture. The auto tune on the XHD2 sucks to be charitable by comparison and you will not get the best result without manual tuning. The second advantage is the Doppler "motion shift" on the Fantom which identifies targets on a collision course automatically. That is much better than the MARPA tracking on the xHD2, which requires you to pick the targets.

So I think you will be better off with the Fantom, which is likely to benefit from additional software refinements from Garmin as a new generation product. The xHD2 is a legacy product so they are not likely to make autotune any better or do any more software refinements to improve its performance.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:31 AM
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I've had several Garmin XHD domes and a new Fantom recently. The Fantom was not all that great IMO. I honestly liked the XHD's better. Maybe I just never had it tuned properly but the echo trails to me were a joke
Old 01-31-2018, 06:49 PM
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I've had the Garmin xHD dome and now I have the new Fantom 24".

I was underwhelmed at the differences between the two, but don't regret upgrading the fantom is marginally better in my opinion... especially in harbors and close quarters.
Old 01-31-2018, 07:02 PM
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Asked this question a couple months back as I am in a similar boat, upgrading from an HD.

xHD supposedly has better target separation than the fantom.

Fantom has trails which I think is a cool feature.

I like the benefits that each provide which leaves me torn.

You can get an xHD for a bell of a good price right now so when doing the cost benefit analysis I have hard time justifying the premium for the Fantom.
Old 02-01-2018, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish'nFool View Post
Fantom has trails which I think is a cool feature.

xHD has trails also. However they are relative to your vessel's movement. Fantom has true trails, which shows the actual direction and distance traveled over time of the targets around you.

Having true trails on my radar made the relative trails annoy me on the xHD system. However the relative trails still aid in navigation since it can at least show you what you are approaching regardless of their direction. (ie slower boat moving away from you will be shown as moving towards you because they are getting closer to you)

Last edited by iFishMD; 02-01-2018 at 12:09 PM.
Old 01-20-2020, 12:50 PM
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Bumping this to get some more opinions since there doesn't seem to be anything recent. I have to make a decision today between a Fantom 24 or XHD 24, price none issue. I kind of plan on doing a little bit of everything inshore, night fishing, offshore. I know neither are going to be great for birds. From what I've read is the fantom is better for close range objects and the xhd for further away stuff. But how bad is the fantom at stuff further away like weather and how bad is the xhd for stuff close up when compared to each other.
Old 01-20-2020, 01:10 PM
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I have the 18 fantom and love it!
works great and being able to really see
targets direction of movement is a game
changer for steaming in fog and night.
buy the newest technology it changes so fast.
Old 01-20-2020, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by blb078 View Post
Bumping this to get some more opinions since there doesn't seem to be anything recent. I have to make a decision today between a Fantom 24 or XHD 24, price none issue. I kind of plan on doing a little bit of everything inshore, night fishing, offshore. I know neither are going to be great for birds. From what I've read is the fantom is better for close range objects and the xhd for further away stuff. But how bad is the fantom at stuff further away like weather and how bad is the xhd for stuff close up when compared to each other.
Fwiw I went with the xHD 24, very happy with my decision.
Old 01-20-2020, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish'nFool View Post
Fwiw I went with the xHD 24, very happy with my decision.
What was the reason you went with that? I think I'm leaning towards the fantom 24. I figure it will help out better at night in/out my area.
Old 01-20-2020, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish'nFool View Post
Asked this question a couple months back as I am in a similar boat, upgrading from an HD.

xHD supposedly has better target separation than the fantom.

Fantom has trails which I think is a cool feature.

I like the benefits that each provide which leaves me torn.

You can get an xHD for a bell of a good price right now so when doing the cost benefit analysis I have hard time justifying the premium for the Fantom.
Originally Posted by blb078 View Post
What was the reason you went with that? I think I'm leaning towards the fantom 24. I figure it will help out better at night in/out my area.
Primarily for the reasons mentioned above. It's an excellent radar.

As a general rule I don't jump on first generation technology, and will lean towards older proven improved technology.

I will use this until Garmin makes more strides with the Doppler technology, maybe a hybrid and by that time ill probably be ready for an upgrade..
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Old 01-22-2020, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tdk72 View Post
well I've narrowed the radar purchase to the garmin 24"XHD or the 24" fantom.
I understand that I probably won't be able to locate birds with either one so what's the better choice. Thanks for the feedback.
I have a Fantom 24. The main reason for me is navigation. The trails work good, target separation is good and it can pick up small targets. Some of the channel markers in my area are nothing more than a 2" pvc pipe driven into the bottom. It will pick up birds. As someone posted earlier you can see them visually. It can pick up pelicans sitting on the water and trap buoys. In the two years I have used it, I haven't had any problems. If the boat is running the radar is running. Works great picking up other boats and turns them red if your on a collision course. It is installed on the top of a 26' center console without a radar mount.
Old 01-23-2020, 01:16 PM
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Default To radiate or not?

Fantom=no radiation and xhd=radiation. I appreciate that power of xhd can bring some benefits comparing to solid state radar, but I would be very worried with health hazard of magnetron radar.

So, for those selecting the magnetron instead of solid state radar (on recreational boats), do you really have proper place to install the radar without risks, or you just ignore potential danger?

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